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Law interpretation necessary for Hong Kong's basic system

The interpretation of Hong Kong Basic Law is a necessary step to safeguard the legal foundation of the special administrative region.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, adopted an interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) by a unanimous vote on Monday.

According to the interpretation, "to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" and "to bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China" are not only legal content to be included in the oath prescribed by the article, but also the legal requirements and preconditions for standing for election or taking up public office.

The interpretation came after the behavior of a handful of legislators-elect during the election of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) and the subsequent swearing-in ceremony.

The interpretation lies in the responsibility of the top legislature. The decision is in line with the people's expectations and the right one for the region, the nation and for history.` One country is the prerequisite for the two social systems. However, the words and deeds inciting to split the country by some legislators-elect have touched the political and legal limits.

The interpretation aims to warn "pro-independence" people that Hong Kong is an indispensable part of China, and "Hong Kong independence" will never happen in any circumstances.

The central government has the power to administer the SAR, and the interpretation is within the legislative power of the NPC Standing Committee. It will set an example for similar cases, and will also improve the Basic Law.

The interpretation is not "interference" in Hong Kong's judicial independence. Instead it is the administrative work of the central government.

The interpretation is also a timely response in support of mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong. "One country, two systems" has proven to be the best arrangement to maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong since it returned to the motherland.

However in recent years, a few people, in collaboration with hostile foreign forces, have incited separatism in Hong Kong, which has become the root of many problems in Hong Kong.

Mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong demanded that the top legislature interpret the Basic Law in a bid to prevent those advocating "Hong Kong independence" from entering the LegCo.

Upholding the Basic Law and bearing allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR are requirements for joining elections and holding public office. Advocating "Hong Kong independence" has nothing to do with freedom of speech, but an act that violates the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Constitution of the nation.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 07Nov16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 09Nov16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.